June 6, 2012
Insurance companies care for profits, not health
To the editor:
Many big insurance companies have stopped giving insurance policies to all children so they can make an end run around the Affordable Health Care Act’s requirement that they cannot deny coverage to children with pre-existing medical conditions.
In the several years before the Affordable Health Care Act, the insurance companies, on average, had doubled what you pay, radically increasing their profits.
Two things should be clear. One, from the insurance you pay, you should be able to figure out that you are paying more and more for less and less coverage. Second, if we allow insurance companies to not cover children with pre-existing conditions again, more children will die.
The cost of everything medical is going up, but some things should be brought out in the open. Doctors who decline to participate in Medicare, which means patients must pay everything up front before seeking reimbursement from Medicare, may or may not, be trying to exclude struggling patients who cannot afford to pay up front.
Doctors who do participate in Medicare, meaning they submit the bill to Medicare without requiring any upfront money from the patient may, or may not, think that “do no harm” means to the patient — not their bottom line.
Pharmacies once printed the total cost of your drug if you paid cash. If you had insurance it listed the co-pay plus what insurance paid for the total. You would think that the total, either way, would be the same, but you would be wrong. Cash customers pay more — often a lot more — and often different amounts depending on the drug company.
Gay marriage a religious, not civil rights, issue
To the editor:
After reading Jarvis Brooks’ letter to the editor condemning African American leaders for holding President Barack Obama accountable regarding his purported Christian faith as they contradict his “evolving” and somewhat timely support for same-sex marriage — as a civil rights advocate for nearly 20 years I felt it important to set the record straight.
Let me first point out that I am an advocate for equality for all people and have advocated for equal rights for the LGBT community for years. However, I do not equate same-sex marriage to the civil rights struggle and movement of the African American community. Such a comparison is like plums to pickles; they just aren’t the same.
Ann Pellegrini is an NYU associate professor of religious studies, director of the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality and author of “Love the Sin: Sexual Regulation and the Limits of Religious Tolerance.” She, like many other supporters of gay rights, more accurately compares the gay rights movement to the fight for religious freedom.
Pellegrini explains that “when it comes to religion, the principles of the First Amendment do not protect religious identity; they are supposed to protect religious practice.” Anyone can identify as Catholic or Jewish, but the genius of our legal system is that they have the right — the freedom — to publicly practice these beliefs, which are essential to their identity.
In an article I wrote several years ago, I emphasize the need for a complete separation between church and state on the issue of same-sex marriage; and since the main issue seems to be one of a religious nature, then in essence the state should focus on the legal components. As such, stop attempting to define marriage and simply institute civil unions for couples — all couples. Equality achieved and no state overreach in redefining marriage.
Jonathan R. Burrs
Thomas Jefferson advocated religion
To the editor:
So Thomas Jefferson advocated separation of church and state? The First Amendment, continually taken out of context by the likes of Allan Powell, ignores his actions that prove beyond a reasonable doubt as to his beliefs.
Thomas Jefferson promoted legislative and military chaplains; established a national seal using a biblical symbol; included the word God in our national motto; established official days of fasting and prayer on the state level; punished Sabbath breakers; punished marriages contrary to biblical law; punished irreverent soldiers; protected the property of churches; required that oaths be phrased by the words “So help me God” and be sworn on the Bible; granted land to Christian churches to reach the Indians; granted land to Christian schools; allowed government property and facilities to be used for worship; used the Bible and nondenominational instruction (doctrine) in the public schools and required the Bible be taught; allowed clergymen to hold public office; funded religious books for public libraries; funded salaries for missionaries; and exempted churches from taxation.
To quote the late Dr. D. James Kennedy, “My friends, the real Thomas Jefferson is the ACLU’s worst nightmare.”
Now, Powell is grasping at straws trying to associate Jefferson with Roger Williams 150 years before our Christian Constitution, thanks to Thomas Jefferson. Of course, John Locke only helped write the state constitutions of the Carolinas that both gave credit to its faith in God. Amen.
Phillip M. Snider
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